“Your Hometown” heads to West Town on Thursday, July 29.
West Town is a neighborhood about three miles northwest of the Loop and one of Chicago’s 77 officially designated community areas. Within West Town is a collection of distinct neighborhoods including East Village, Eckhart Park, portions of Humboldt Park, Noble Square, portions of River West, Smith Park, Ukrainian Village, and Wicker Park.
From Chicago Avenue starting west of the river and on, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, vintage stores, theaters, and music halls. Four stops on the CTA Blue Line – Grand, Chicago, Division, and Damen – will put you within the West Town area.
While the area is rooted in Eastern European heritage, the culture of West Town is reflected in the waves of immigrant groups that called the area home over the years. Historically, West Town was also home to “Polish Downtown,” Chicago’s oldest and most prominent Polish settlement. The center of activity for Polish Downtown was the Polonia (Polish) Triangle at the intersection of Division, Ashland, and Milwaukee Avenue. Notable landmarks within West Town include Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Division Street Russian and Turkish Baths. Famous faces who called the area home include authors L. Frank Baum and Nelson Algren, singer Liz Phair, and comedian Hannibal Buress.
Have your say in our “Your Hometown” series! Submit your suggestions on which town you think we should feature here. “Your Hometown” airs the last Thursday of the month.